CAN WE AGREE TO DIFFER?
Behind the Scenes
To explore the paradigm shifts and sticking points of diversity management.
About the project
Employing a diverse workforce can be very positive for an organisation, leading people to be more engaged and perform better. In a previous research project on the topic, Making Diversity Work, the difference between whether diversity is an asset or a liability largely hinged on how the situation was managed. In this follow-up, we go ‘behind the scenes’ to show how you can initiate diversity and manage it positively to reap the rewards. more...
First, the positive factors that can motivate an organisation to adopt a more diverse workforce will be examined, whether they’re driven internally (such as the mindset of the leaders) or externally (such as regulatory forces).
In the second stage, the negative forces will be investigated: the internal inertia and group resistance that can sometimes create ‘sticking points’.
The third stage will consider what role a ‘champion’ can play by promoting the policies and practices that will help shift the paradigm.
Chief Investigators: Professor Carol Kulik (School of Management) and Professor Isabel Metz (Melbourne Business School).
Industry partners: The 100% Project and the Australian Senior Human Resources Roundtable.
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR A CHANGE
Changing Contexts: Impacts on Organisations, Teams, Employees and Clients
To examine how organisations, teams and individuals should adapt to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace.
About the project
It’s often said that change is the only constant in life. But there is another: the inability of organisations to cope with it. Indeed, global surveys reveal that about 70% of change initiatives fail. And that includes even the most advanced, large-scale change models because human resource management practices and the impact of the social context are usually not adequately considered. more...
Context is everything. Current changes in human resource management practices, the composition of teams and the pressures of the daily work environment will be investigated in this three-year project funded by an Australian Research Council grant.
Changes in context be examined at multiple levels to determine how they impacts an organisation’s processes and effectiveness, the adaptability and performance of teams, the wellbeing and performance of its employees, and, ultimately, client service.
The findings can help organisations, managers and employees understand the process and implications of various workplace changes better, enabling them to manage change to produce more positive outcomes.
Chief investigator: Professor Cheri Ostroff.
A Big Data-Theoretic Approach to Quantify Organisational Failure Mechanisms in Probabilistic Risk Assessment
To build social and organisational factors into models of technological system risk in order to better be able to prevent accidents and failures
About the project
What caused the meltdowns at Chernobyl and Fukushima, the deaths of the Columbia and Challenger space shuttle crews, the fatal Bhopal gas leak and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? It is now widely recognised that the culture, climate and leadership of the organisations contributed significantly to these disasters. The social system failed before the hardware did. more...
It is therefore critical to be able to detect such weaknesses in an organisation in order to prevent catastrophic accidents and maintain public health and safety.
Engineers routinely use probabilistic risk assessment to assess the likelihood of something going wrong with complex engineering, such as an airliner or a nuclear power plant. Traditionally, these models have focused on equipment problems and human error. In this five-year project funded by the National Science Foundation, we will dig further into the underlying problems in an organisation’s safety culture, collaboration mechanisms, training systems and performance management and integrate them into probabilistic risk models.
Chief investigators: Professor Cheri Ostroff with Dr Zahra Mohaghegh from the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering, and Associate Professor Catherine Blake with joint appointments in the Departments of Computer Science and Medical Information Science (both from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign).
The causes, form and remediation of compassion fatigue of personal care workers in aged care
To understand how compassion fatigue (CF) emerges among personal care workers in residential aged care, the ways that it is experienced, and to identify potential ways of preventing, avoiding, minimising it, and remedying it once it exists.
Summary of the project
Compassion fatigue – the loss of empathy by care givers – is a feature of the caring professions. However, the way that it emerges and is experienced, varies substantially between occupational groups. This study will interview personal care workers in aged care to better understand how these employees experience CF, develop CF, the forms that it takes, and the various organisational and personal ways that it can be resolved.
Dr Gerry Treuren (Chief Investigator)
Dr Claire Hutchinson
Dr Danica Liu
Dr Ashlea Bartram